The Dealer Playbook
The Dealer Playbook

Episode · 6 months ago

Brian Miller: How To Improve Customer Experience With Technology

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

We have a love/hate relationship with technology in the retail auto industry, but it doesn't have to be that way. For years we've either relied too heavily on technology and bypassed the essential human needs of the car shopper. 

Brian Miller, the Platform Evangelist at Fortellis.io, shares some simple ways to improve the customer experience with technology while also fulfilling the operational needs of the dealership. 

Noteworthy topics from this episode:

3:14 - It’s all about the experience we provide to our customers.

6:08 - What is the biggest pain point as it pertains to serving dealers and customers?

8:21 - Dealerships should be responsible for the process that works for them.

10:20 - What is Fortellis?

13:06 - What does integration means?

16:15 - How do dealers are able to create unique workflows for their business?

20:21 - What should I be considering as a dealer to develop something in-house? Who do I need on staff?

25:02 - How does the customer benefit from something like this?

29:49 - How do you find out customer’s data and information? 

Fortellis 

This episode is proudly sponsored by our friends at Fortellis. No two dealers operate the same way which is why Fortellis provides the tools to create unique apps that help your dealership meet the needs of the market while catering to your operations. 

Not only has Fortellis created an amazing technology platform that’s designed to make life easier for dealers, but they are also pouring back into the community with events like their dealer dev day. It’s a 3-day event that empowers attendees to network with each other to create smarter, faster, and better apps for the dealer community. 

Visit Fortellis.io to browse their marketplace of apps and integrations that will allow you to run your business, your way.

Hey gang, there are fewer things Iregret more than not investing in zoom when I had the chance. How was Isupposed to know there's gonna be a pandemic and zoom stocks would explode.Looking back 20 years from now, I don't want to have the same sinking feelingsitting on the sidelines knowing I could have jumped on another bandwagonsooner. luckily we know what the next big boom and retail automotive is andthat's why companies like four telus have provided the tools to createunique apps that will help your dealership meet the demands of themarket. You see no to dealers operate. The same way the beauty about four tellus, is that you can pick and choose the apps and workflows that help you meetthe demands of the market while catering to your operations, not onlyis foretell has created an amazing technology platform that's designed tomake life easier for dealers. They are pouring back into the community withevents like their dealer DVD. It's a three day event that empowers attendeesto network with each other to create smarter faster and better apps for thedealer community. So my beloved DPB gang, the best thing that you can doright now is visit the four telus marketplace and browse through theirgrowing library of apps and integrations that will allow you to runyour business your way, visit four telus dot io to learn more. That's four.Tell us dot I O Hey gang, welcome to this episode ofthe dealer playbook, a podcast that explores what it takes to create athriving career right here in the retail auto industry. I'm your host,Michael Chiarello, joined by my pal for the second time, brian miller from four.Tell us we're talking about how to unify your technology for a highlyconnected customer experience. Look, my beloved DPB Gang, you've got loads andloads and loads of technology in your possession at this very moment in time.You've got technology that's running your service, department booking reservations, shuttle drivers, sMS, messagingreminders, you've got sales software from your CRM to digital retailingtools, to financing tools, to credit apps. Gosh, the list goes on and on andeach of those things is really just working in a silo. I would submit thatup to this point in the car business. No one piece of technology has beeneffectively speaking to the other piece of technology and I've experienced thisfirsthand when I go to book a service appointment and then I arrive at thedealership only to find out that it's closed that day and I'm wondering whydid they let me book the service appointment on the day that they'reclosed? This is a simple example of how maybe one piece of technology was nottalking to another piece of technology and how that ultimately creates aproblem for the customer in today's day and age. It's all about the experience that weprovide to the customer. We are not necessarily a dealership anymore asmuch as we are a hospitality business that just so happens to deliverautomotive related products and services. And so the topic of unifyingyour technology is something that I think is highly important so that wecan deliver and just completely otherworldly experience for customerswho are all using technology to research, consider purchase andhopefully be taken care of after the purchase of their vehicle or theirservices and no better person to talk to us today about unifying technology,to provide a better customer experience.

Them a pal brian Miller from Fort Ellis,he is their platform evangelist. He knows, can I say a crap ton aboutunifying technology, automating workflows to provide a simple faster,better online experience brian miller. My man thanks so much for joining me onthe D. P. B. Glad to be here, my friend, wow, that's a tough intro to to followup you like that off the cuff, that's good man, this is gonna be a delightbecause I think you know, we were talking pre show and you made a point about how siloed everything in the businesses. I mean asas my agency over reflects, we even noticed sometimes how difficult it canbe to service our dealership client appropriately, which only just tricklesdown to them not being able to service the customer appropriately because oh,you know, vendor A doesn't like working through whatever vendor B might needand if that happens all of a sudden there's a breakdown or something breakson the last day of the month or like whatever it might be, but that reallytrickles down, not just to the dealer suffering, it ultimately creates stress on the customer experience,which in many ways is still so antiquated that I could only seesomething as small as, you know, not being able to connect to pieces ofsoftware as something that just like, is that, what do they say, the strawthat breaks the camel's back. So I want to turn this over to you because you'vehad a lot of experience in the retail business, you sold for a, you know, adecade plus, you've worked in and out of dealerships. You've also then workedon the, the provider or supplier side. Um, now with Fort Ellis, what is thebiggest pain point that you see as it pertains to maybe this trickle downeffect and not being able to service dealer but also not being able to serveas customer. The biggest pain point, it's hard topinpoint one specific thing, but at the root cause you know the root causes.There's many, we can obviously say that the integration is the difficult pieceof the equation. And when I say integration, as you said, you've gotthese different siloed companies that are doing their own thing and you'vegot two sides on the one side, you have these siloed companies that are smallniche companies building up and I don't work with this person. I don't workwith that person that kind of fight and do their own thing at a very smalllevel. And then you have the juggernauts on the big side, you knowfive or six years ago, all we heard about is we're building an ecosystem soyou can use one system for everything. And these monstrous one systems allbuilt up their own tools and again wall them off so that you can only use thissystem with this piece or this system with that piece. And the loser reallyis to customers one the dealer customer itself, because they're not able to toreally build and define their own process, be that unique thing thatallows them to be the best they can. And at the same time, it also thatimpacts the customers, as you mentioned, because the customer doesn't get theexperience that the dealer wants to provide or that they really expect. Mhm. Do you see that as kind of a keyto moving this industry for where each dealership is responsible? I mean, I think we allknow this, but I mean where each dealer is responsible for a process that worksfor them. Despite being in this like highly regulated industry, where, youknow, I'm on clubhouse, we do office hours calls, I jump in differentmastermind groups. And there still seems to be this recurring theme oflike feeling you can't do something because this regulation means you can'tdo that and this regulation means you...

...can't do that. But at the, you know, italways, it always triggers me a little bit predicated upon what you just said,Which is that. But your business is unique. Your business has a differentphilosophy on how to do business to provide an exceptional customerexperience. So, is that, is that what you're saying that that dealershipshould be responsible for a process that ultimately just works for them?And how do they navigate that amidst all of the regulations? In your opinion?Well, regulations, we could do an entire episode just around regulations.And so much of what we fight, even in the uh, in the, in the world of FortEllis is that we have to continually watch those regulations. You know,we've got a lot of A P. I. Gateways, for example, that have to havedifferent standards for us versus Canada, there's a million littlevariables there, everything that we've done has been very gated so that thatthat dealer ultimately knows what data is being touched, can control what datais being touched, can choose to touch certain data, not certain data. So froma technical perspective, a lot of that stuff has been continually worked onand will be an ever changing thing. But to go back to your first point about,about that process, I would argue that that dealerships, it's in their DNA Ownthat process already. Um, I remember working at my, getting hired in at mycousin's first, my cousins dealership, my first chance to really work in theindustry in 1992 and the owner of the dealership, sat down with me, my cousinand said, here's our philosophy, here is our process, here's what you'regoing to do. They owned that every step of every process within the dealership,they took ownership of it, they knew what they wanted to have done, theyknew what impacted and work for the customer and it was a matter ofexecution. The problem we have is that so many systems today, despite the factthat we want that dealer to own, that we've taken away that ability toactually do that thing that they want to do to own that process and executeon it and the beauty of what. But what I've always saw when I got involvedwith this organization was the chance to provide some universal tools to makeit easier for that dealer who already wants to own that process to actuallybe able to execute. Do you have an example of how something?Well, first of all, let me let me ask you this. I mean, So what actually is for tell us. So for tell us at at a high level is aapi platform using modern technologies that allow for instant access to theinformation that's needed through a universal gateway system. The beauty ofthe system is that if you go ahead and access that you can have access to anydealer that's utilizing that specific ap um many of those a P. I. S today areput out there by companies like C. D K, like the lead and several other thirdparty companies. These different products that are there allow for thatquick access to data to do real time workflow, as opposed to trying to dochunky files back and forth. It's a very modern approach. It's a similarapproach to what you've seen. Developers building in the last 10 to15 years against google A P I. S or against amazon Api or Ebay API is tomeet the specific needs and functions. It's that type of integration,something that our industry has a tendency to kind of lag a little bit onthe technology side. This is really bringing us forward to that, but thatmodern approach within that, you also have a marketplace and in thatmarketplace, whenever a new product is added to that integration, using thattool, that marketplace makes it available to dealers to be able tosubscribe to. There's also a community aspect of it that allows developers tokind of work, discuss different ideas, exchange ideas, dealers to proposeideas that they might want to, developer to build all of that is builtinto that and take them to that system. So, so now let's let's break that downa layer deeper because we've got a tech guy talking to a tech guy and I want tomake sure that the non tech individual...

...didn't hear four, tell us functionintegration and think waited. So why is Cirillo talking about an erectiledysfunction medication called for telus? Yeah. So, so how do we, how do we takeeverything you just said? Which I clearly understand. I mean, we work inthe tech space and and just say like the one sentenceof like, here's here's what you can do with this. And by the way, that's not to describe,because we know that there are some real geeky, nerdy tech people that arelistening to this that are like, preach Bryant preach, I'm one of them, but nowI just want to make sure also, You know, you've heard me talk aboutthis persona of this individual. I have in my head, sitting in a small familyowned dealership for the last 73 years, uh, in dog lick Nebraska, who's stilladvertising in the coffee shop mag magazine thing, little rag. How do youconnect all those puzzle pieces together? So you've talked aboutintegration, let's talk about integration just for a minute. I thinkeven that's a term that everybody in the industry has heard at this point,but probably don't even understand what that what it means to integrate to apps, right? And that integration can take on manyforms. It could be as simple as app a calls at B and says I need thisinformation, or it could be more robust. Uh, you know, a simple example might bea pay says, hey, um, do I have a Toyota Camry in stock? Well, yes, I do have aToyota Camry in stock. Great. Show me the information. Or it could be asfancy as I'm a lot service that says, hey, I just took pictures of thatToyota Camry by the way. Here's the pictures and they immediately appear inthe system instead of waiting for the upload andthe update and the sink and everything that takes place overnight and all thebaking that goes into that old process. We literally can with our phones say,find this car, take the photo, it's there, it's on the website, it'savailable for the salesperson. It's done in seconds. That's what a trueintegration allows you to do. Yeah, it's like real time correct. Which isfunny because I think up to this point in the industry that the kind of thestandard has been, it will update tonight between the hours of 12 a.m.And three a.m. And then you know, poor dealer shows up at the dealership ateight a.m. To realize that something broke and it didn't work but crap. It'sthe Memorial day weekend and you know something is not working. So I can seethis as a super valuable thing where you know, I even some of my clientswill come to me and say, hey, we want to get this photo system on our website.So what do we do? We have to reach out to that photo system software companyand we have to try and spin something up and get their individual integration.And the next thing you know, there's 7000 different apps integratedindividually where what you're talking about is thiscentralised hub of your like the power bar, the surgeprotector almost right where I can plug into it and it gets me connected to thepower source. Um and so I think this is super valuable just Based on one thingthat you just said which is simplicity and speed, you want that information onyour website connected to the source right awaywithout having to deal with the mumbo jumbo of the back and forth and N. D. A.S and this and that and all the different things. So I think that'ssuper valuable. So for those wondering what does integrate mean it's one app connecting to another appseamlessly and in as near real time as you can possibly get it so that you canfinally have the functions on your website or on your, you know whereveryou're promoting digitally to to do...

...what you want to be able to do. And toyour point brian you were talking about um making that happen in a way that'sunique to that dealership specific workflow. So do you have any particularexamples that you could share with us? Where maybe a dealer was able to searchyour library or your your marketplace and be able to just kind of create aunique workflow for them? Well, there's there's a number of things going onthat I that I can't totally speak to because we have many dealer groupstoday that are building very unique and very customized solutions to meet theneeds of their dealer group. They've got in house development, they'reactually developing tools, but at the same time we've had a lot of dealers asof late that have reached out to us looking for specific integrations. Agood example of that, back in december, we had several dealers that we're usingthe elite tool and we're looking for a specific integration with an ai chatcompany that had come online And the Chat Company really did exactly whatthey wanted. They vetted two or 3, they fall in love with this one. This was agreat example of a, of a small upstart company with guys with a lot of D N A,a lot of experience and they were, when they were told, hey, we have tointegrate with C D K. The immediate thought was, well, this might take awhile. That's a big company. But what was beautiful is that we got on a callwith them. We shared with them. The specific API is that they needed toutilize to the elite tool. They agreed to beta test a few things as opposed tohaving months of pre design certification, re certification,eventual deployment. This process with a large D. M. S. Usually is a 3 to 5month process beginning with a lot of upfront fees and costs and everythinginvolved in this case it was, hey, go to the Fort Ellice website, we'll giveyou access to our docks, download the docks, read everything you need. Thedevelopers Reddit went, oh, so we just need to do this, this and this and thisis very self service. It was all right there. They went back to our team andsaid, here's what we want to build to certify. They went up easy. Here you goover to the sandbox, give it a try. They tested everything. They went fromconcept to pilot in a couple of weeks, wow. And within a couple of weeks afterthat they were live and they were just adding dealers as they go, the dealerwas in love with it because here they wanted that tool. They heard all allnew integration and they were nervous. The developer was nervous attackedbecause of previous experience. But what they were able to find is that byjust having these universal tools they could, they could download a dock andread everything they needed, Figure 90 of it out in their heads that happen tohave five million phone calls, they got to work on it. They were able to testiterate, quickly developed quickly and launch quickly. And the beauty is thatthat tool worked perfectly within the elite system and this particularprovider turned around and came back to us and said, hey by the way, do youhave an A P I for for for this other Crn? I'm like no, but you know what ifthey called us unpublished, we let them because it's an agnostic platform. Iwould love to see the day where three or four or five different crm all havethe exact same spec tied it and said, OK, great, I want to do this and youknow, I want to send this to the leader. I want to send this to dealers socketor I want to send this to to 1 80 whatever it is, you can literally use acommon spec for 99% of it. So the guy doesn't have to recode all day long andthen just pointed to the right solution. That's where we want to be and wherethe platform frankly could be as long as the right people got involved insome let's do it. Yeah. One of the things that intrigues me about this isa word you just said. Agnostic. This is an agnostic program. You areSwitzerland in a sea of hostility or perceived hostility in the, in theretail car business. You also mentioned that you havedealers themselves, developing some specific things to meet their needs.Mhm. So let me ask you this, I'm curious from your vantage point say I'ma dealer and I just heard that as well...

...and I go, oh, oh, that's interesting.Maybe that's something I've always been kind of curious about. What should I beconsidering as a dealer two, you know, I guess develop something inhouse like what do I need, who do I need on staff? What should I be lookingfor? Um, in these individuals? Any ideas on that? That's a great question.You know, for years we used to jokingly say that the son of the dealership was,was ph d, you know, papa has dealership. The reality is, many of the Childrentoday of dealer principals have phds or have degrees and have computer sciencebackgrounds and the type of capabilities that we're talking aboutdoing are really low code, low touch, easy to work with operations. You know,let's say for example, your dealer, um, wants to go ahead and you've got this,this kid that works for the dealership, maybe the son of the dealer, maybeinstead he just has a buddy of his that has a development shop in town. They goahead and say, hey, I want to do X y, z, I want to pull roo information in torun a report every day to see exactly how many service orders run what theaverage cost is and which service advisor is doing a better job. Thatinformation some years ago was difficult, if not impossible to gettoday. You can literally go into four. Tell us you could go to the repairorder piece, you can sign up and have access to that repair order informationand build an application using postman. Uh you can go out to our GIT hub siteand pull down sample scripts. Often get hub. The information is all there forsomeone that's developer centric already kind of pull down, get thatbasic set of information, play with it a little bit and do some rudimentarytesting. Um and then from there build out, This is not something where wefeel like we need to have some egghead who's got, you know, 30 years ofcomputing experience to do it. It's something that people can learn veryeasily, Right? And I think that's an interesting piece. I mean obviouslyhaving a development, you know, portion of our business, something that I thinkis really interesting these days is Everybody thinks they're worth 100grand or more. Um, aren't you? Well, I know I am. There's a difference.I've got 25 years of proven experience. There you go, proven proven keywordproven kept, kept my mouth shut for most of it. So I could prove myselfright. Um, but, but, but, but you know, this day and age people go to salarydot com and I'm like, oh, I'm a, I'm a developer and it says median income inmy industry. Uh, you know, um, but I like what you're saying because it's abit of a qualifier, This is low code, low touch, essentially easy to operate. Are there specific code sets or skillsthat the dealers should be looking for in a developer? Or is it just, you know,like is there a specific language that you're aware of? Or, or is it, you know,basically vetting on? Hey, here's the system of Fort Ellis. What, what's yourthoughts and vetting them that way. So if we tell us does a pretty good job ofproviding link offs to specific support guides to kind of help a user get whatthey need to do. Um as far as if I was just talking to somebody and I waslooking for someone with experience, usually if you say look, I have, I'mlooking for someone who can build me an application that connects to an A. P. I. That level of of of knowledge said isreally what you need, What does that application means? Well, are we talkingabout an app on a phone? Probably not. We're probably talking about a webapplication. Someone could light up a in Asia account or some other onlineaccount system and then build their web app there. Use the tools that exist topost bond to do a collection or a...

...connection and kind of build and testtheir again a lot of this stuff is done with with tools that exist today sothat the coding side of it is relatively small. It really is very lowcode. Obviously if you've got someone thatfeels the need to get in there and get their hands dirty and they're verycomfortable, they can certainly do that. So there really is kind of a diversetoolset here where I could create simple apps or even something thatmight have been difficult back in the day. Like you talked about pullingInnaro like getting our own information delivered daily. Uh or I can make thisas complex as I needed it to be. Very very true. Um Yeah, so this kind of leads me to the next step, which is how do we, how does the customer not the dealer,how does the customer benefit from something like this? How does thisempower me to give a better customer experience? It's that's a greatquestion. Um It's funny. I was I was just recently working on a blog postand remembering back to my days and sales, you're back in the day when Isold cars before the internet. Uh you know and when I used to sell vehiclesoriginally I was that guy that would go out and take a picture of you with acamera. Remember these things called cameras had film once a week. I go tothe local drugstore and wait a day to have them developed. It was a neatprocess, you know two prints one for the customer to send him into the manand an actual envelope with a stamp thanking them for their purchase.Another one that I was. How many cards? How many personal photo printers haveyou bought? Right like remember when those came out you're like wait I canrise up at home. Yeah. And they were like three grand or something crazylike that. I think so. Yeah. I would I would stick these on a just a card andI kept card boxes and anytime I connected with a customer I wouldcontact them every year I would remind them I would send them birthday letters.I would work with them when I knew that customer was coming in to see me on anappointment. I pulled out that card and I'd look at that picture and I look onthe back of the card and there I had written down the names of their kidswhat they did, what kind of career their aspirations were what their othervehicle purchases were, what else I sold them when they were in, everythingthere for service. I'd make a note. I kept this nice little sheet for onesimple reason, I knew that I could only survive in sales based upon myrelationship with that customer. Everything began with that relationship.That's why I didn't just sell 10 cars a month. That's why I was a 25-30 carmonth guy. And if I went from dealership agency, the dealership bethose 25 or 30 customers came with me because of the relationship. And thisis the thing that always blows my mind when we, when we fast forward and lookat technology today and we think about something like we were talking aboutthe leaves. That's a Crm, okay, what does Crm stand for customerrelationship management, but ask most dealers what they are is,and they're still trying to understand that and figure that out. I remember in1999 2000 setting up an early internet internet sales team and we used an I. L.M. Internet lead management and then we advanced out of ill um, into CMScustomer management system. We were managing the leads, we were managingthe customers. It wasn't until recently that the idea of managing therelationship was even added into into the, into our vernacular and ask mostdealers today what they managed, they manage the process rather than therelationship. The beauty of what we're doing with for telus is we offer newtools to take that Crm and really make the relationship key. We can nowimmediately understand more information about that customer. So when we build aresponse, it's the right response. We...

...can communicate in a timely way whensomeone's in for service, we can communicate the more relevant way whenwe're talking through a sales process, we go from just a management tool,We're not just working with the customer, we're actually doing whatwe're supposed to, we're not taking that customer relationship and that'sthe part that we're trying to manage. Makes sense. 100%. And I love thatbecause I would say out of the 500 Plus episodes of the podcast, a solid 60-plus of them specificallyspeak to the importance of relationship. And so here we are, starting with thetech conversation and we filled that bucket for all the tech nerds that arepart of the DPB gang. But then it always always, always findsits way back to relationships, not just any relationships. Why would you evenwant to manage the relationship so that you can build a trusting relationship?I do have one question kind of as a sidebar, you're gonna have to dig deepback into your your front line days, how in the balls can a car sales professional find outwhat someone's career aspirations are or life aspirations are? Because I feellike today people are triggered over the mustard, that was two yellow on there, like a hot dog. How do you approach? Like, let's justtalk about how you did it back then. How do you find out that level ofinformation, what the kids are interested in? I feel like if I askedsomebody what their kids were interested in today, they'd be like,who's asking yeah, what do you want to know that you're stepping? You knowwhere I live? You know, it's like this kind of a weird get out of my face, youknow, it's like that's how did you do that? How did you approach that to evenget that kind of data? Well, you know, when I would actually look at my cards,if I was lacking that data, first of all, I would step back and say, okay,what did I not do Right in my process. If I didn't establish trust early inthat process, then I wasn't able to ask those questions or get those answers,which means I failed probably as a salesperson to initially do what I'msupposed to do and that's established trust and then build a relationship. Youcan't build a relationship if it's not built on trust, that's the cornerstone.Um, and so for me, a lot of times that discussion might begin with how Iobviously you've got the general agreed at the dealership, you find out whattheir, you know, at a high level what the need is, okay, we've identifiedthat they're looking for a new vehicle. We might have verified what type ofvehicle they're looking for, What it's used cases for in that use case or yourcommuting? Really? Where do you commute to? Oh, you work at? So and so how isthat? Uh huh. Is that where you see yourself in a couple of years and youjust shut up and let someone talk and you build that bond. And so when you're in that test driveand you load the three kids in the car, there's, there's Billy Billy, how oldare you? 7? Cool Billy. You know what you want to be when you grow up anastronaut? That's pretty cool. I can have that conversation because thetrust has already been established. Yeah. I was in a clubhouse room theother night and it was like sales versus marketingor, or no sales, personal brand versus sales. And as you're speaking and I'm writingnotes, um, uh it brought to mind peopledeliberating for over an hour sales tactics and then you go, Michael, what's youropinion? And I'm like, well,...

I believe that no sales tactic willwork if you are a dick of a human. Mhm. And the reason I think about that, notbecause I think brian miller is a dick of a human. Quite the contrary. You'reyou're sitting here. I'm writing notes. I wrote down, shut up and let them talk. Ah ask going a step further by asking themwhere they work. Like everything I think about relationships and likefortifying the trust comes from just this innate desire to be a good personand good people care about other people, good people care about letting otherpeople talk. Um, most experiences that I've hadpurchasing vehicles, nobody's even cared to ask if I have kids, let aloneinclude them in the test drive and ask their age and what they want to be whenthey grow up like to take that level of interest I think is is very interesting. So now let's say weacquire this information in this tech ecosystem, human beingcollects information, what do I do, where do I go from here? What do I dowith it? I put it into my crm and then what crm connects to what, what wouldbe an example of what I could connect my crm to make better use of this datathat I've collected. So it may not be as far as even having to put thatinformation into your crm. We're trying to get away from these large amounts ofdata being concentrated in specific areas, from a security reason and justfrom a daily processing point, if that information exists over here in the inthe in the D. M. S, all I need to do is I need to understand where the data is.I just need to flip to that old card. I used to use turn it over and get theinformation I need put the card back in the box and step away from it. Andusing that same analogy here, let's say I'm at the dealership and I'm about tosend an email and I'm at the service like well I'm contacting this customerand I hit a button and that button can go over and say, okay this customer hasbeen in the service department three times each time. It was the sameproblem, reported not yet fixed. So I know how to craft that email On theflip side. It may be that person has this is their third vehicle with thewith the company. That being. It is the third vehicle that may change the way Iaddressed them from a loyalty perspective, what what offerings I maybe able to provide ease a problem. I could look at it and say, wow thelast three cars, they've always done a tire rotation and a detail. Great.That's an automatic Upsell opportunity. Having those data points just using theexample of the service lane gives me a lot more power to do what I need to doquickly and at the same time it may not necessarily be all done at once. MaybeI'm using a contact system. That's that. I schedule the appointment and I getthe message coming through an SMS and in that SMS message I say, oh by theway we see usually have a detailed work done, we have somebody available, itcan have it done, would you like that as well? So you push the conversationover to there and then when that customer comes back and they drop offthe car, they're off on their way. Maybe that communication system is nowsaying you're cars almost done. We're ready to have you come back and pick itup. Once again, we just want to thank you for for, for purchasing threedifferent cars from us. We value you as a customer, man. Well, I got thatinstead of just your car's done. Which one do you think? It's gonna remind meto go to that dealer more? Oh my gosh, I'd be tying this now, my brains movingon, I would be tying this into some sort of, well, first of all, um, youknow, creating some sort of a loyalty...

...pro, an internal loyalty program.Forget like whatever the O. E. M. Programs might be and how they try andget you into. I'm creating an internal loyalty program. So you're saying I'vegot a repeat customer, I have that information readily accessible to me. Iwould be integrating that with my loyalty program so that when I pull upthat card it's telling me as the rep they qualify for this V. I. P.Experience and that thing would be tied into profit margins so that I'm notconstantly wondering as the dealer principal or as the business owner.Yeah but if I do that for them is it cutting too deeply into my profitmargins? Like so I would I would have it almost tied into some sort of profitcalculator where it's like no on their second visit I I as the service repdon't have to ask permission, I am automatically authorized because I seeit up on my screen that mr miller who has come back for the second serviceappointment to get a tire swap and a fluid swap and an oil change that weare going to buy him and his wife dinner at their favorite ketorestaurant. And boom it because I don't have to askpermission, I don't have to go to my manager. It's a no brainer like rightin front of me and all of that is tied in my system. Sure like people aredoing punch cards. Why can't I have like something that ties into my owninternal hospitality system. This is something that nobody ever thinks ofand imagine what would happen. You come in for a service appointment forsomething as routine as an oil change And I'm walking out with a $100 giftcard like basically see but what happens is because we never reconcilequickly enough the financials, We don't think that we're making any money thenwe'll wait. How did we make money on the oil change? You made money on theoil change because you just invested $100 to keep that customer coming backfor the next two years. Sure. And if you're running into the sales log, youcan look and see that maybe that customer, okay. This guy might havebeen the guy that, you know, he grinded us on three new car deals. We know whatthe potential grosses and future sale over there. Then again, this might bethe guy who grinded this once on, on a new car and then brought his daughterin his sister in and we just conk them both over the head on a used car. Can Isay that on there? I just did. So so you're like, okay, there's obviously abig value in this guy because he's a new and used car buyer and I have agreater growth potential just in the future sales, never mind the serviceside of it. And to see the tie in without this is the part that's appealing to me.Little to no intervention on my part is going to actually empower my team to domore serving sure to be like, wait, because now I'm thinking even in thatcontext, he's a new and he used vehicle a customer. But if I could pull up right away andsee anybody that he's referred to me or anybody else in his family that hasalso purchased a vehicle. Now I get a great sense on this one flip cardthat's created by this, this integration of how much generationaland lifetime value potential I have on this customer. And what's even what Ithink is even brilliant going a step further because I know what some mightbe thinking. Well then how do I avoid my team judging an individual who mightnot have as much lifetime value potential while that's simple becausethen you're going to have a process baked into this that says here aresteps you can take to encourage that customer to come back to increaseprobability of lifetime value. You know, you mentioned, you mentionedthis, you mentioned hospitality um in a future world, in the future world, thiswill happen again, but in the past world before Covid you and I spent alot of time in hotels, on planes and uh...

...we we tended to be loyal to certainbrands for me, I was loyal, I was loyal to the Hilton brand. I've been adiamond member for years. Every time I walk into a Hilton property, what theysee. First of all they see, oh Mr miller is a diamond level so I'm goingto address him a specific way because he's a diamond level for Guests. I wasthinking like Motel six. If I've been to that specific location, if I've beenthat they know every time I've been to that location, let's say I complainedtwice about the H. V. A. C. System right when they schedule my appointmentand they see our schedule room and they see him coming in as a diamond member.This the processes diamond member complained about the same problem.Twice. Check the room before he gets here. Now if I'm just a silver level, theylook at a little differently, but they're always trying to move me to thegold level and move me to the diamond level. They're trying to encouragebehavior to get me to that level. That's the same approach that we can dowithin our industry. But it all begins with looking at those little morsels ofdata in the right way and we can access all that data in near real time by utilizing a platform like portals toget the information we need, wow, this is incredible. I mean, so we, we'vekind of gone through the foundation of why the tech is needed, the foundationof why unifying technology is so important. But I love how we ended uphere with some real world possibilities of how a dealership or any business forthat matter could utilize this data highway if you will in order to createcustomer experiences that keep people coming back time and time again overseveral generations. I just think this is so tremendous, man brian Millerjoining us again for the second time here on the DPB. Thanks so much forjoining us. How can those listening get in touch with you? Like the easiest wayto get in touch with me, probably would be just to look me up on linkedin. Um,if you jump on lengthen you can search for brian Miller. Uh, my direct link isbrian, the car guy on Lincoln and if you like, you can also reach out to methrough the Fort Ellice group. My email address over there is brian dot millerAt four. Tell us that I owe. Amazing man, thanks so much for joining me onthe podcast. Thank you. I'm Michel Cirillo and you've beenlistening to the dealer Playbook podcast. If you haven't yet, pleaseclick the subscribe button wherever you're listening right now, leave arating or review and share it with a colleague. If you're ready to make bigchanges in your life and career and want to connect with positive,nurturing automotive professionals, join my exclusive DPB Pro community onfacebook. That's where we share information, ideas and content thatisn't shared anywhere else. I can't wait to meet you there. Thanks forlistening.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (476)